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The Geopark Bodoquena Pantanal, created in 2009 in Mato Grosso do Sul, is about to become the 2nd of the Americas and 58 of the worldwide network of Geoparks approved by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization - UNESCO.
The State Government through the Tourism Foundation of Mato Grosso do Sul - Fundtur, and in partnership with the Institute for National Artistic and Historical Heritage - IPHAN, is receiving the visit of experts from UNESCO, in order to assess the potential Geopark Bodoquena Pantanal, where 54 geosites are inserted between caves, quarries, waterfalls, mines, springs, bays, mines and sites. The geosites are geographically bounded, where there are one or more elements of geodiversity with singular value of the scientific point of view, educational, cultural and tourist center.
The technical visit of UNESCO is being made initially to the cities of Jardim (Araras), Bonito (Blue Lake Cave and Grotto of St. Miguel) and Corumbá. In 2006, UNESCO recognized the Geopark Araripe, Cariri, Ceará, and now is the technical mission in Mato Grosso do Sul to assess the potential candidate for the Pantanal area of international renown, whose elevation to the status of Geopark will enable the State as well as foreign investment, the guarantee of preserving, protecting and developing ecotourism.
According to studies, the Geopark Bodoquena Pantanal, which is being evaluated is an area of 39 square kilometers, has several characteristic features of a Unesco Geopark in the mold, as the presence of fossils of giant sloths, tooth tigers mastodons and saber. There are even fossils of the first living things arise on the planet - more than 560 million years, one being the corumbella, in honor of Corumbá, where the fossil was discovered.
In the definition of UNESCO, a geopark "is a well-defined limits of the territory with an area large enough to provide support to local socioeconomic development." It must cover a certain number of geological sites of relief or a mosaic of geological entities of special scientific importance, rarity, and beauty, which is representative of a region and its geological history, events and processes. You can not just have geological significance, but also in terms of ecology, archeology, history and culture.